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Diabetes Driving Pal

Viral Shah

Dr. Viral Shah’s mobile application, Diabetes Driving Pal, is featured in StartUp Health’s “Health Transformer” blog this week.  I will include a link to the blog in the comments below.  The application works with continuous glucose monitoring data to notify a person with diabetes if they should not drive due to hypoglycemia.  The article shares research from Dr. Shah that reflects that “72% of respondents reported experiencing at least one low blood sugar episode while driving” and that “4% admitted to having had a vehicular accident due to low blood sugar in the previous two years.”

My own experience with driving and low blood sugar came in 2011.  About 90 minutes before driving, I took a dosage of the insulin catalyst “Symlin.”  I felt fine, so I didn’t think twice and made the huge mistake of getting behind the wheel.  I was awoken by an EMT taking me to the Emergency Room following a (thankfully) single-car collision with a tree.  I share this story to underscore Dr. Shah’s application’s importance and hope it receives wide support.

Pretty much everyone with T1D experiences low blood glucose almost daily and 70% of people with T1D experience at least one hypoglycemic episode while driving. Though early Type 2 diabetes is primarily managed through lifestyle changes and medications, after 15-20 years of T2D, most people require insulin therapy to control blood sugar and can experience similar risks of hypoglycemia while driving.

“Diabetes Driving Pal Helps People with Diabetes Stay Safe Behind the Wheel in the Face of Low Blood Sugar Episodes”, Apr 25, 2024, Health Transformer Blog